DHAKA- Shipping Minister and Convener of Sramik-Karmachari-Peshajibi-Muktijoddha Samanwoy Parishad Shajahan Khan today called for observing "National Genocide Day" on March 25 to denounce the atrocities perpetrated by Pakistani forces on unarmed Bangladeshis on the black night of March 25 in 1971.
"March 25 is an unforgettable day in the history of world genocide as the Pakistani military junta had unleashed a genocide breaking the silence of the night and killed hundreds of innocent sleeping people in the country in 1971," he told a press conference at Swadhinata Hall in the city's Segunbagicha area this afternoon.
Shajahan, also convener of the International War Crimes Mass Trial Movement (IWCMTM), said under the directive of military ruler Yahiya Khan the Pakistani occupation forces led by General Tikka Khan had carried out the military crackdown on Bangalees under the codename "Operation Search Light" on the black night. He said at least one lakh people were killed on the night.
"The operation search light emerged as a dreadful and shameful genocide in the history of mankind," he said.
The minister said the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh has surpassed the holocaust carried out by Nazi Germany against the Jews between 1933 and 1945 during the 2nd World War and the Rwandan genocide in 1944 in terms of number of killings as 30 lakh civilians were killed in Bangladesh in 1971.
"West Pakistan carried out mass killings across the Dhaka city on that night including at Rajarbagh Police Lines, the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) camp at Pilkhana, Dhaka University's Jagannath Hall, Rokeya Hall and Sergeant Zaharul Haque Hall," he said.
However, initiatives have been taken in the current session of the Parliament aiming at declaring March 25 as "National Genocide Day" and acquiring international and UNO recognition in this regard, he added.
He also said the International Crime Mass Trail Movement had decided to demonstrate across the country including Dhaka city to press home its demand.
Freedom Fighter Ismat Qadir, labour leaders Md Alauddin and Abdul Jalil joined the press conference, among others.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)